Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin has said he wants to "allow the legal process to play out" after seven school districts this week filed a lawsuit seeking an immediate injunction to block his mask-optional executive order, but still, parents must have the power to decide what is best for their children, Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears said on Newsmax Wednesday.
"Some of them have decided to sue, and that is their right," Sears said on Newsmax's "National Report."
"They are parents as well, after all, so we are a country of laws, we are a commonwealth of laws, and what the governor has said is to allow the legal process to play out. Follow the rules of your school board and let the Virginia Supreme Court decide."
Until then, she said, mask mandates run out in July or August, and it may take that long for the state Supreme Court to make a ruling.
"But we must have the ability as parents to make that decision, and if the school boards don't want it, and they're keeping the mask in place, then follow them and allow the process to work," said Sears.
Youngkin's order leaves the decisions on masking up to parents, going against the mandates most of the commonwealth's schools have had in place throughout the pandemic.
In the legal complaint, led by the Fairfax County Public Schools, the schools' lawyers said the governor's executive order violates the state's constitution, which gives control of schools to a local school board, as well as a state law passed this past summer requiring Virginia's school districts to follow federal health guidelines "to the maximum extent practicable."
Sears also talked about a so-called "privilege bingo" game that had been played in a Fairfax County high school class. The assignment, given in an English class, came with boxes for characteristics such as being white, Christian, male, able-bodied, or a child of someone in the military, to determine if that person should be considered "privileged."
"If you have two parents, supposedly that's privileged," said Sears. "If you are a military parent, then that's privilege as well. I was in the Marine Corps, so that's troubling. If you're a heterosexual, that's privilege, you know. We have got to stop dividing ourselves. Who is making all these rules for us? And who put them in charge?"
Sears said the reason she and Youngkin won their race was that "people don't recognize the America that these folks are talking about."
"It's all divisive," she said. "It's at our throats. They have an agenda, and it is for us to always be in division. That's not what we want. We want to live in peace. We want our children to live in a harmonious society, and the way to get that is you do your thing. I'll do my thing. And together we'll be all right."
Sears also talked about serving with Youngkin, noting that after he was sworn in, he asked her and Attorney General Jason Miyares and their spouses to pray with him for wisdom and guidance for the state.
"When you start like that it can only end well, and that's what's happening in Virginia," said Sears. "We're praying because we understand there is a higher power. We need to come together. We cannot divide ourselves … Abraham Lincoln said, 'A house divided cannot stand.' We will not have that any longer. We can disagree, certainly, but we don't have to be disagreeable."
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